The Grand Arcane of the Kings of France (J. d'Aillon)

The Grand Arcane of the Kings of France (J. d'Aillon)

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Talent Investigator created by Jean d'Aillon, Louis de Fronsac, the man with the black ribbons, in turn in the service of Cardinal Richelieu, then of Mazarin and in the present work, of Hugues de Lionne, Minister of State of Louis XIV, returns in a new detective intrigue with this historical novel : The Grand Arcane of the Kings of France (2015). Plots, revenge, clashes and other cabals are thus on the program around a thousand-year-old secret of the kings of France.


With a simple theft in a Parisian street, Louis de Fronsac finds himself at the heart of a new and nebulous adventure in which English spies are said to be involved. But why are they interested in a simple and young thief, the enigmatic Anne Lupine? In the midst of political intrigues and power struggles of the Court, robbers and assassins no less recommendable, Fronsac always accompanied by his friend, Gaston de Tilly, goes to the front of many dangers to unravel an enigma of which he does not suspect the scale: the Grand Arcane of the kings of France.

From Paris to the magnificent cliffs of Étretat, a deadly treasure hunt begins, with its share of fights, pursuits and betrayals.

Our opinion

Jean d'Aillon always excels at telling us historical inquiries with here, a well-paced and fluid story, mixing millennial secrecy and revenge and which fits perfectly into the continuity of the author's previous novels. It is even impressive to see how Jean d'Aillon systematically multiplies the references to the previous adventures of Fronsac and Tilly until they go back to their childhood (The Queen's FerretsComm. 2007), which only reinforces the story. Moreover, he has no equal in describing with surprising ease the backstage and political subtleties of the Ancien Régime. The transcriptions of the power issues of the time are very well rendered even if it means making the book sometimes thick with the characters, in particular the real historical characters. They are nevertheless skilfully employed in romantic intrigues.

It is therefore only a small difficulty at the beginning of the work before being quickly caught up in this story with the protagonists always so endearing: in addition to the chivalrous Fronsac and Tilly, we think in particular of the thief forger, Anne Lupine. And if the final outcome is fairly agreed, it remains effective, like the whole of this historical novel.

Jean d'Aillon, The Grand Arcane of the Kings of France, Paris, Flammarion, 2015.

Video: All Presidents, Emperors, and Kings of France


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